It’s not often that two teams from the same district have identical records, and are both ranked in the top-10 going into an important game against one another.
But then again, the No. 4 Plainview Indians and No. 7 Sulphur Bulldogs haven’t been like most teams in their district or Class 3A this season.
At 7 p.m. tonight at Clavin Agee Field in Sulphur, these two teams will collide in a matchup of the top two teams in district 3A-2, with the winner earning the inside track to the district title.
Both of these teams will enter with identical 5-1 overall records with perfect 3-0 marks in district play.
“This has been shaping up to be a good game,” Plainview coach Joe Price said. “Both teams have good size up front, and that is where a lot of the battle will take place. We are teams of contrasting styles.”
“Sulphur prefers to stay on the ground and run behind their excellent linemen,” Price added.  “They (Sulphur) will throw the ball on occasion and we’ll run the ball and do a lot of spread type formations to try and get the ball in the hands of our skilled people. This is a huge district game for both teams, and I hope we have what it takes to come away with the win.”
Sulphur coach Jim Dixon has been in a lot of big games in his career and understands the significance of gaining a win in a contest of this magnitude.
“This is a huge game, and we will need to play extremely well to gain the win,” Dixon said. “They (Plainview) have no weaknesses. Their offense, defense, special teams and kicking games are top-notch. They are definitely one of the best three teams in Class 3A right now.”
“Their quarterback (Brock Parham) can throw the ball well and he can run it when he needs to,” Dixon added. “They also have two excellent running backs (Jaxon Clemons, Tyson Al-Jbour), and their wide receiver (Blake Nowell) is one of the best we will see this year. Plus they have an all-purpose player (Payton Webber), and he can do it all. They execute everything so well because they have such a solid offensive line. Beating them will be a challenge for us that’s for sure.”
While both offenses have put up huge point totals this season, both the Indians and Bulldogs’ defenses are just as strong. Sulphur has scored 261 points in their six games, while Plainview has scored 260.
The Indians are among the best in the state is points allowed in six games (70), while the Bulldogs have given up 116 points.
“This game has become a great rivalry game over the years,” Price said. “One of these two teams has advanced a long ways in the state playoffs for several years. So that says a lot about the competitive level of both squads. Their running back (Trey Kiser) is among the best running backs in the state. We definitely want to know where he is on every offensive play they run. This contest could actually come down to a turnover or who plays the best on defense.”
Kiser enters this week’s game with 125 carries for 1303 yards and 22 rushing touchdowns for the Bulldogs.
He racked up 125 yards on just nine carries and scored two touchdowns against Lone Grove last week. He also caught one touchdown pass against the Longhorns.
“We know Plainview is well-coached, and they have done well against a solid schedule,” Dixon said. “Their defense is one of the best around. They have a lot of speed and they pursue the football well. And they make good tackles. It’s hard to find any weaknesses in their team. We just have to go out and do what we do best. We cannot afford to lose focus or we will be in trouble.”